Darin Johnson’s smile grew big and wide as he recited the lineage of Washington guards playing in the NBA.
“Isaiah (Thomas), Nate Robinson, Brandon Roy, Terrence Ross, Tony (Wroten),” he said last night. “I just want to be a part of that.”
It’s an exclusive fraternity and it remains to be seen whether Johnson, a 6-5 and 190-pound senior who signed with the Huskies, will achieve the success of UW’s elite guards. But he’ll get his chance next season.
For now, Johnson is just trying to fit in with new teammates. Last season he starred at nearby Franklin Grove in Elk Grove, Calif. He transferred to Sheldon High in the summer for the chance to win a Northern California D-I championship.
Last night was his fifth game with his new team. Sheldon Huskies coach Joey Rollings said his squad is still learning how to play with each other. Johnson was the unquestioned star last season, but now he has to fit in on a team that includes San Diego State-bound seniors Dakarai Allen and D’Erryl Williams.
With UW assistant Jim Shaw sitting in the stands, Johnson scored a game-high 17 points to lead No. 1-ranked Sheldon to a 69-42 blowout over No. 17 Jesuit. He didn’t play in the fourth quarter because the outcome was never in doubt and Sheldon (11-4) has a tough game tonight against No. 9 Bullard High (13-1) from Fresno. (Rankings from the Sacramento Bee)
Before leaving the game, Johnson drained two three-pointers and thrilled the packed crowd inside the small gym with a rim-rattling two-hand dunk on a fast break. He also had three assists and three rebounds. His only blemish was a 3-for-7 shooting at the free throw line.
Johnson compared himself favorably to Scott Suggs and C.J. Wilcox. He imagines his game will complement Andrew Andrews, incoming freshman Nigel Williams-Goss and Wilcox, if he returns for his senior year.
Johnson said he’s knows the Huskies are looking to add a forward to the 2013 class and talked about San Jose standout Aaron Gordon.
“I just think we can do some big things if we all came in,” Johnson said.